Thursday, May 13, 2010

Waiting for POTUS, not Godot.

As any good photog worth their weight in pixels, Yours Truly, knowing that POTUS was heading to the Middling City this fine May day (the 13th), pursued the photo op with determination.
Senator Gillibrand's office sent around emails to MC media and YT pursued this op via the Shiney Happy Mag, as well as the offices of Gillibrand, Brian Higgins, and Schumer.
All replied, to borrow Chuck's now-famed and oft-repeated phrase: GOFORIT.

YT was just alongside Senator Schumer on Sunday for the Big C at the Big U and am still wondering why I didn't ask him to shove through a cred at that moment.
But, as You will see, all worked out swimmingly and here is YT in a nice soggy self-port moment with laden Air Force One in the background.
Many of us on the riser opted for this photographic moment, either by the hand of oneself - or a colleague.
There is another image of YT with Clark Dever, who was there shooting for, started by my pal Marc Odien. Clark and I were captured with the verysame converted 747 by Tina Yee of the Democrat and Chronicle in Kodak City. Most of her images of the two of us are primo, but her Hail Mary technique went off the rails and Clark and I are more out of focus than in the image above.

Obama was slated for landing at 12:20 and AF1 was impressively only ten minutes late - JetBlue-like in its promptness.

We had all checked in by 9 a.m. and were in a generic holding area/building near BNIA's small runway expecting AF1. We were shuttled out to the tarmac (not to be confused with the camera bag of choice by YT, Tamrac) after a thorough security check, and then set our gear up.
We were then back in the building until 11, when we were re-shuttled, reunited with our gear and then more waiting.
At about noon it began to rain, as Norm F predicted, watching his ominous small weather map on his phone.

AF1 lumbered up to the airport, slow and silent, and was spotted by some of the media types, pointing at the sky.
Obama emerged, jaunty and smiling, and was met at the base of the Prior Aviation steps by Brian Higgins, Louise Slaughter, and Byron Brown.
Umbrellas were absent, the limo awaited, and conversation took place next to the passenger door.
Obama took off in a long motorcade and the packing of equipment began, after watching the national media types emerge from AF1 and run to their awaiting limo.
About 200' away the motorcade stopped alongside a BNIA fire house where he met with select reps of Flight 3407 families.
Then they were truly off for ...
on our shuttle bus someone had their laptop opened and on it YT read: 5 Medium, 5 Hot - Obama had been spirited away to the nearest Duff's (on Dick Road) for chix wings.
No tofu for this visiting dignitary, instead fatty and spicy wings.
YT imagines Obama doing extra crunches, etc. tonight to compensate for this repast.

Once back at the vehicle, wended downtown to lunch with Harvey and Leah.

To date YT has photographed both Bushes, Clinton, Gore, and Obama - as well as dozens of other politicos doing what they do ...
Today's access was reasonable but not as close as I've had before. Obama had three hours in the MC.

To draw a parallel to rock star access, today's was Rod Stewartesque rather than Dave Matthews: Rod prefers photogs to be so out of sight that they are practically out of the building. I once quipped to photog handlers that I imagined the next time he played the MC we would indeed need to be shooting from the street outside HSBC Arena.

All in all, a good photo op.
Happy Obama jetted here, he's now in the Shiney Apple - assuredly not eating fast and non-flash food.

Obama Love.